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  • Mxit Money: new mobile money service from Africa’s largest social network

    What’s the future of banking? Well we know that in the future our mobile phones will replace money, and even our credit cards. Why? Because this is the device that is with us all the time and is always connected. But who is going to make this play? The banks? The cellphone operators? The phone manufacturers? Or a mobile social network? Mxit is taking mobile money and payments quite seriously. Earlier this year the popular instant messaging service rolled out a payment option to restaurants, allowing users to pay for meals using the platform. Read more on Ventureburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var...

  • Reuters blog hacked, Syrian cyber war suspected cause

    Ouch. You do not want to be the person in charge of Reuters' online security right now. The renowned news agency's blogging platform has been hacked for the second time in two weeks. This time the hack saw a fake story about the Saudi foreign minister dying posted on the platform. Apparently on high alert after its 3 August attack, the agency pulled the post fairly soon after it went up. "Reuters did not report the false story and the post was immediately deleted. We are working to address the problem," Barb Burg, director of global communications at Reuters...

  • Mobile payments to be worth $1.3tn by 2017

    You many have noticed a fair few players trying to get in the mobile money game recently. There's a very good reason for that. The field is about to explode. According to tech analysis company Juniper Research, transactions made using mobile payment services are set to be worth US$1.3-trillion by 2017, growing nearly fourfold in the next five years. The research company reckons that these transactions -- which will account for 54% of the total value of mobile payments by 2017 -- have already been bolstered by stimuli such as the widespread rollout of NFC support infrastructure and the...

  • Survivor of the great dotcom crash: Q&A with Brent Hoberman

    Brent Hoberman is remarkably busy. It took three months and a couple of million emails to peg him down for 20 minutes to answer a few questions. Then again, that probably comes with being a pioneer of the dotcom era. The late 90s were a turbulent time for the web: the burst of the dotcom bubble left many online companies in shambles, but there were survivors. One such survivor was Lastminute.com, the online travel and gift business Hoberman founded with Martha Lane-Fox in 1998. The publicly listed company was established to offer late holiday deals online. By 2000...

  • Could AR drones be the future of journalism?

    We've all read stories about how remote control drones have been used in war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some of us may even know that Barack Obama has doubled the number of drones attacks, resulting in between 1 492 and 2 378 deaths between 2004 and 2011. Obviously drones are incredibly efficient when it comes to automated warfare, but what if we used them for journalism? Good news! You can buy one for about 300 Euro. The AR-Drone is a quadricopter, a chopper with four engines, running on batteries 14.5 Watts per engine, good for a flight of about 10...

  • Is online piracy really killing the entertainment industry? [Infographic]

    Wait! Don't download that torrent. Stay away from that website filled with pirated MP3s. Stop watching your favourite series on suspiciously free TV sites instead of paying for a subscription. You're killing the entertainment industry, making artists and actors poorer and, well, committing a crime. But are you really? Okay sure, so piracy is definitely illegal, but how much economic harm are you actually doing to entire industries by downloading and streaming copyrighted files instead of visiting the cinema or purchasing an MP3 or (gasp!) CD? There is no denying that industries are suffering as legitimate, physical sales continue to...

  • Brookstones Pocket Projector — a quirky little iPhone toy

    The Brookstones Pocket Projector. I guess if you’ve got money to burn, really need some novelty aspect to your tech life and love only Apple, then this is (almost) the projector you’ve been looking for. That’s if you can find it, literally. It’s so small you could be forgiven for sitting on it, or losing it along with your car keys and the illusive pair of socks that only your wife can find for you. Read more on Gearburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Pinterest goes mobile with iPad, Android apps

    It was one of the fastest social networks in history to hit 10-million users, it drives more referral traffic than Twitter, Google, and Bing and now its available as an iPad and Android App. Pinterest launched the apps today after announcing them at a party last night. According to The Next Web, a new version of the iPhone app, which introduces a two column layout, is also available for download. In an official blog post, the social network claims that the Android app "makes it simple and fast to pin, so that the time you spend...

  • Sina Weibo set to launch social credit card

    Here's an interesting development from beyond the Great Firewall. Chinese social network Sina Weibo is teaming up with China Merchants Bank on a social credit card project. According to Chinese tech news site TechRice, the new service will be tied to its DaRen, verified user programme. DaRen is intended, at least in part, as way of incentivising people to comply with the real name rules imposed on Sina Weibo by the Chinese government and also requires a profile picture, a minimum follower count and ties to a mobile number. The new card will reportedly launch later this month and will...

  • Android still killing it in shrinking mobile market, but at what cost?

    Android is killing in the mobile OS wars. Even as the global mobile market shrinks, there's no getting around the fact that it's far and away the most popular smartphone OS on the planet right now. But that dominance could come at a cost, especially in its all-out battle against Apple's iOS. According to tech research company Gartner, smartphone sales accounted for 36.7% of total mobile phone sales and grew 42.7% in the second quarter of 2012. This as the global phone market fell 2.3% from the same time last year. Here's where things get really interesting. Android has...

  • German Spotify clone Simfy to expand into South Africa

    Music streaming service Simfy is expanding its international presence, with a South African version of the offering set to launch later this month. The German-based company boasts over 18-million songs in its library, including content from all four of the major record labels -- Sony Music, Universal, EMI, and Warner. Alongside its label affiliation it also has partnerships with the Merlin Network and aggregators such as The Orchard, and Finetunes. Simfy also offers social networking, allowing users to share playlists and follow others to see what music they listen to. When the service opens to the public in 13...

  • Outlook.com hits 10M users… like a boss

    Well now, it seems Microsoft may actually have a hit on its hands with its new online email service Outlook.com. Just two weeks after launching, the Redmond-based giant announced that the service now has 10-million users. Then again, people have appear to have been excited by Outlook.com since the launch. After all, there were one-million signups just after it launched. The announcement, which came bundled with a bunch of tweaks to Skydrive also included a shout out to web commentator Chris Dixon's post about ten-million users being the new one-million users. Outlook comes bundled with social network integration and 7GB of...

  • VEVO embarks on Brazilian adventure

    Joint venture music video website VEVO is set to have a go at cracking the Brazilian market with a standalone music video platform and free apps now available. The venture, which is a collaboration between Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media, officially announced the new service today which will be localised in Portuguese. According to The Next Web, the launch is good for consumers, but even better for advertisers. “For advertisers, VEVO’s arrival in the Brazilian market is the ideal opportunity for them to access these passionate audiences through a catalog that highlights the greatest artists...

  • 4 ways LinkedIn is completely defying its most sceptical critics

    LinkedIn continues to be not only the social media site for professionals, but the professional of the social media companies. One of the best-performing recent tech IPOs reported another strong quarter, beating expectations for revenue and boosting full-year guidance. Shares jumped 12% to US$105.24 in recent trading. This comes a week after Facebook shares dropped steadily in the wake of its earnings and its stock hit an all-time low, dipping below US$20 for the first time ever. Currently, LinkedIn is trading at twice its IPO price; whereas Facebook is trading at just over 50% of its IPO price. And...

  • Don’t tweet drunk and 6 other lessons from two recent social media fails

    I was getting worried for a moment there. It had been ages and ages since we’d enjoyed a public Twitter brand meltdown. The heady days of the dodgy Durex jokes are but a hazy memory. The latest batch doesn’t involve big brands, but both cases illustrate the pitfalls of social media very nicely. Case 1: Cumtree The ultimate admission of social media failure is deleting your account, and that’s what Cumtree South Africa did. In early August, Jen Thorpe wrote this piece on adult classifieds site Cumtree after being asked to tweet a link to it (social media fail no...